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30 Time and Money Saving Tips

We've come up with some ways to increase efficiency at the barn. Share your ideas here!

July 2006

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    Horse Barn
  1. Buy in bulk. If you’ll use it before it expires, refill bottles are cheaper.
  2. Arrange routine vet visits with nearby neighbors or fellow boarders to split the field call.
  3. Use a sheen spray after you bathe your horse to help repel dust and detangle manes and tails, cutting down on future grooming time.
  4. Keep your tack room neat and tidy so that you don’t waste time searching for tack and supplies.
  5. Organize! Use separate containers to hold grooming tools, a first-aid kit, wash-rack essentials and so on.
  6. Edit horse care lotions, potions and meds regularly—toss what’s expired, dried up, gone gunky, leaky or no longer needed.
  7. Give your tack a once-over with a clean rag after every ride to make deep cleaning before a big event easier.
  8. Keep up on grooming tasks like pulling manes and clipping so that you don’t have to do an extreme makeover before show day.
  9. On your day off, prepare a week’s worth of supplement servings to cut down on feed preparation time.
  10. Buy your hay from a reputable dealer—you’ll get more bang for your buck with high-quality hay, and you won’t waste time haggling over returns.
  11. Most horses are quite happy to live out in the pasture as much as possible—and that means less stall bedding cost for you.
  12. If you find someone who can make use of your manure pile, it’s a win-win situation: You get free manure removal, they get compost, and we all save the planet.
  13. To avoid untangling a snarled mess, rewrap polos or wraps after every use.
  14. Wash your wraps in a mesh laundry bag, so they don’t get knotted up.
  15. Recycle your supplement tubs. They make handy buckets or storage containers.
  16. Convert clutter to cash. Sell tack that you no longer use, blankets that don’t fit, outgrown show clothes, and the like.
  17. With a little creativity, odds and ends can become jumps, dressage letters, trail obstacles and so on.
  18. For a intensive training session, have a plan and focus on what you and your horse are doing.
  19. If you board at a busy facility and can be flexible with your schedule, ride at off-peak hours when arenas are less crowded, turnouts and wash racks are more available.
  20. Save a shoe that is in fairly good condition after your farrier’s visit. If you lose a shoe at a show, you can have the show farrier tack on your spare.
  21. Get friends together to have a "barn” sale for apparel, tack and stable equipment that you no longer use or need.
  22. Don’t throw away old stall mats—if they’re textured you can recycle them to your wash rack area.
  23. Update your show wardrobe with one key piece, instead of buying a whole new outfit.
  24. Find a local friend to exchange "farm-sitting” duties with, instead of paying for professional help.
  25. After your horse’s bath, go over his body with a medium brush. It works to groom him and remove water at the same time.
  26. An old clipper blade can be recycled to shorten manes effectively.
  27. Detanglers in manes and tails can also help prevent shavings from embedding.
  28. Save water—have a spray attachment connected to your wash rack hose.
  29. Metal closet organizing systems work well in tack rooms, especially for storing wraps, bottles and small items.
  30. Invest in a multi-use tool and keep it in your grooming box—saves you from having to keep several tools at the barn and is always at the ready.

Have you found a creative way to save time or money at the barn? Click "Submit a Comment" below and share your thoughts!

Read on for more tips on cutting horse costs.

Get some advice on saving time at the barn.


This article originally appeared in the August 2006 issue of Horse Illustrated. Click here to subscribe!

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30 Time and Money Saving Tips

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Reader Comments

Brittney    Birch Bay, WA

11/12/2014 8:10:27 AM

During the summer if you have a large field with a lot of grass, you can turn your horse out the the field for the summer and they will eat nothing but grass. That saves your hay money. ;)

Sam    SamCity, AL

6/19/2012 1:57:32 PM

For people who are strapped for money AND time (like myself), this is great! Especially the money-saving tips, please do more articles on this! :)

JoAnn    Suth Fork, CO

5/25/2012 4:55:06 AM

Great tip about watering down the shampoo, always have a hard time getting it all out.

JoAnn    Suth Fork, CO

5/25/2012 4:53:59 AM

Great tip about watering down the shampoo, always have a hard time getting it all out.

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